Sunday, 16 November 2008

My Favourite Train

My own personal favourite train in the National Railway Museum is this one, the Mallard. I like the look and shape of it. My mum just told me she used to travel on one of these when going to and from London in the 50s. The one in the background - the Eurostar is one I've been on, under the English Channel to France.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Wheels and pistons at the National Railway Museum

This exhibit at the National Railway Museum has always been a favourite of my children, especially Erik, when he was little. The wheels and pistons of this train are exposed and are turning so that you can see how it all works. There are information panels telling you what all the bits are, and here a guide is explaining it to some visitors.

Friday, 14 November 2008

National Railway Museum

Trains are one reason that York gets a lot of visitors. York has always been a major railway centre, and we now have the National Railway Museum here. There are loads of fantastic exhibits, and although I'm not a particular train fan in the way some people are, I do like looking at the steam engines on display. It's amazing how huge they are when you get up to them.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

York at Night - River Ouse

Here's one I prepared earlier.

I took this shot when I was visiting York last year, before moving here. Whenever I came here - as I did quite often to visit my mother - I always felt quite elated on seeing this view from Skeldergate Bridge, with a really happy yaaay I''m in York feeling.

I'd love to have a riverfront flat here - it's a dream I have. No garden for the kids though - although we could always get a boat, I suppose :-)

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The Yorkshire Wheel

Indeed it was the Yorkshire Wheel I took yesterday's view from. Wayne was right, despite referring to it as a blot on the landscape! Personally I have to confess to being a bit of a big wheel fan, even of fairground big wheels although they always scare me to death (obligatory horror thought while riding: what if the fairground man was on the p*ss last night and didn't put it together properly). Not that the Yorkshire Wheel was remotely like a fairground ride - much more sedate and upmarket - but I still had to ride it and get some photos.

The Yorkshire Wheel is gone now though. Yes, as reported by The JollyGreenP in this post , it was dismantled on November 5th and is no longer on the site at the National Railway Museum where it used to stand - although it will possibly be re-erected somewhere else in the city.

Thanks to everyone who had a guess at the location, btw. Jane, I loved your suggestion of on top of the Norman Tower. I would have needed a powerful zoom to see York from Bury :-D Now, what should Wayne have as his prize ...? Hmm, maybe a special photo, coming up on Friday!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Bits of the Minster #4

I was very pleased to discover today, in the dim and murky depths of my groaning "My Pictures" folder, a set of photographs I took about a year and a half ago, and which I'd started to think I'd taken in a dream. I thought this one fitted nicely into my "Bits of the Minster" occasional series.

Can you guess where I was when I took it? The answer is in a photo I posted ... oo, around a couple of weeks back, I reckon. ;-)

Monday, 10 November 2008

Terry Avenue in Autumn

I cycle down Terry Avenue when I go into town. Rowntree Park is on the left, behind the railings. The River Ouse in on the right, behind the hedge. When I was living away, this ride is one of the things I used to think back to and miss loads. When I lived here before though, in the early 90s, I lived in the village of Heslington and cycled in to town down the other side of the river. Which is just as nice as this one.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Remembering Guy Fawkes - A Son of York

This is St Michael-le-Belfrey Church, in the centre of York, where Guy Fawkes was baptised. On the left of this scene stands York Minster (which you can't see). On the right, (which you can see,) is the house where Guy Fawkes was born, now the Guy Fawkes Inn. I stood and watched for a while the other morning, thinking how in 1570, Guy's parents didn't have far to take their three day old baby for his Christening service on April 16th.

I thought I'd conclude my Guy Fawkes mini-series with a thought provoking poem by one of our own daily photo bloggers (Hyde) Gerald England, written when he was in Glasgow in 1966.


It was just the other day.
Bonfire night the fifth of November.
I went down myself
to where the suburb children
had built their bonfire
and as I watched the effigy
slowly being burnt,
I thought to myself I ought not to be here -
it is a Yorkshireman whom they burn.

My thoughts floated back
to the little close in Petergate
where in 1570
in the Church of St. Michael-le-Belfry
behind the great Minster of York,
Guy Fawkes was baptised.
And as a rocket shot out of a one-pint milk-bottle,
shooting high over tenement roofs,
I thought I ought not to be here -
it is a Yorkshireman whom they burn.

My thoughts escaped
to the Old Hall at Scotton
where Guy's childhood was spent.
There, in those rooms, did he plot
with the Brothers Wright?
And I thought of their home,
Ploughland, on the Spurn Road
where Holderness cocks a snoot at the sea.
Just then they lit some Roman candles
and the explosion of a banger
woke me and arrested my thoughts.
Then I remembered, I ought not to be here -
it is a Yorkshireman whom they burn.

My thoughts escaped once more;
down South to Kettering and Newton Hall
where met the unlucky thirteen,
six Yorkshiremen and seven others,
then plan to annihilate King and Parliament for ever,
with thirty-two hundredweight of powder.
And as the bonfire cast shadows on the ground
I remembered I ought not to be here -
it is a Yorkshireman whom they burn.

Oh how I pictured,
as the body on the firebegan to disintegrate in the flames,
the sufferings felt by Guy
as he neither lay nor sat nor stood
in the Cell of Little Ease until,
on the 31st day of January
in the year sixteen hundred and six,
he was executed,
hung, drawn and quartered.
I knew as I watched the dying embers of the fire,
I ought not to be here -
it is a Yorkshireman whom they burn.


Saturday, 8 November 2008

Guy Fawkes' Birth Place

The blue plaque outside the Guy Fawkes Inn on High Petergate reads as follows:
APRIL 13th 1570
The notorious gunpowder plotter who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament on November 5th 1605.
He was hung, drawn and quartered in Westminster London January 31st 1606.
The interior of the Guy Fawkes Inn

Friday, 7 November 2008

Guy Fawkes' Record of Baptism in York

Guy Fawkes, whose death is celebrated on Bonfire Night (Nov 5th) was born in York, and was baptised in the church of St Michael Le Belfrey. On my visit there this morning, I found that the register showing the entry for Guy Fawkes' baptism is on display this week, on its final day today so I was lucky to get to see it just in time. I can't read the script at all, but his entry is on the left and is the third from the top, with two small black vertical lines just next to it. Guy Fawkes, son of Edward Fawkes. The entry is dated 16th April 1570.

This nice lady whose name I omitted to ask (although we established that she knows my mum!) has been a guardian of the register while it's been on display. It'll be out again in January, as part of a residents' week taking place.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Ruby's Bonfire Night 2008

This array of fireworks was exploded in our back garden last night, shortly after the photo was taken. In the absence of Mr Ruby, I had to light them myself. Two kids were watching from an upstairs bedroom window, another one from downstairs by the back kitchen door. I think they enjoyed watching me legging it like a mad woman down the garden steps when the fuse started to fizzle quite a bit more than watching the fireworks. Their favourite bit though was probably when I was squatting at the bottom of the garden in the dark, trying to read instructions by torchlight. I managed to lose my balance, did a slow motion semi-backwards roll and ended up on my back with my head among some plantpots.

You'll be pleased (I hope) to know that the Ruby Torch didn't get me. I legged it extra fast after lighting that one.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

My Favourite Night Of the Year

It's Bonfire Night! The most exciting night of the year - in my opinion anyway. Although there are lots of organised firework displays around, we always have fireworks in our own back garden on the actual night, Nov 5th.
For those outside the UK I should explain that Nov 5th in is a weird sort of evening, in theory commemorating the "bringing to justice" of a man called Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. I say in theory, because if I thought too hard about what it was actually about, I might have to stop celebrating it! Most people, including me, do it now for the fireworks, toffee and fun! Traditions are funny things.
Some people make a "guy", an effigy of a man, to put on their bonfire and burn on the evening. I can remember making one as a kid, with my local brownie pack, to put on the brownies' bonfire :-S
Guy Fawkes was born in York, so I wonder if the "guy" tradition flourished even here? In Leeds down the road where I was brought up, it certainly did. Over the next few days I'm going to do a Guy Fawkes / Bonfire Night series, and perhaps see what I can find out about him locally.
(Today's photo was taken at a display I attended last year, and the mosaic was put together using the free tool mosaic maker over at a site I rather like - BigHugeLabs, in case you're interested.)

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

A peaceful place to work ...

The above photo is of the place I wish I'd gone to yesterday. York library. But I didn't go there. I had the unlikely idea of working in an unlikely place instead and what a disaster that turned out to be.
So where did I go? To Tesco Cafe of all places! Tesco is my local supermarket. It's a huge one, and has a very bright and cheerful cafe upstairs. I figured I could work there from 9 till 3.30, school run time, and I have to say I did get quite a bit done - but not in ideal circumstances.
Obviously I knew there would be hustle and bustle, which I can take in moderation. But what I hadn't bargained for was the cafe being full of college students, all day, because Tesco is right opposite York College. It was like trying to work in a high school canteen. At one point a man (presumably a college lecturer) came in and went round the tables telling all the students: "We have had complaints about large groups of students in here, occupying tables and not buying anything, making noise, and swearing. Have you been swearing?" Which caused some hilarity.
Back to York Library tomorrow, I think.
P.S. Sorry no photo of Tesco cafe. I forgot my camera, duh! And no, I'm not going back another day to take one :-D
P.P.S Do I sound like a grumpy old git? I feel like one!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Pizza Hut Limo

Well it's great to be back in York, with all of its York-ness and eccentricities. Haven't had time to go out and take photos yet, but here's one I snapped some time ago - of someone arriving at Pizza Hut by limousine. Personally it wouldn't be my choice of dining establishment for an evening of chauffer driven luxury (I'd go to Pizza Express, it's in a posher building ;-) but someone is obviously a fan.

PS Today I'm going to spend the day in a very unlikely place. Tune in tomorrow to find out where.


Later today, the kids and I will be boarding a train to take us back to York. Above is a photo of our destination: York Station. Wayne commented a while back that York Station has lots of atmosphere, and I would agree with that. It's quite a big, sprawling station, and we are well connected in York to all other places. We also have the National Railway Museum in the City which I shall photograph sometime soon. That's the Yorkshire Wheel in the background by the way, a bit like the London Eye on a smaller scale. Panoramic views over the city from there!

Our departure point will be Bury St Edmunds Station, shown above. A bit of a grim station, with no shops on the platform and trains are often missed out. There isn't even anywhere nearby you can go for a coffee - the nearest place is Tesco cafe, not good. It's a shame, because the station is a beautiful huge Victorian building and it has loads of potential. This area of Bury is currently being redeveloped so maybe things will change.

Ruby is in Bury St Edmunds for the week, where she formerly lived and blogged. This post is part of a series to run until her return to York, comparing the two towns.

Saturday, 1 November 2008


When I first got married to Mr Ruby, it was my dream to build up a huge collection of books, and maybe one day, have a house with its very own library.

I think I must have changed at some point in the late nineties, when we were being crowded out of our house by amassed books, from university text books to the bestsellers of five years ago. I got rid of the lot.

I still love books, but once I've read them, out they go, and when I want to use reference books I go to the library. My inner gypsy doesn't like clutter. She needs to be ready to take off at any moment, without having to worry about what to do with books.

The above photograph shows a room in one of York's many second hand book shops. This one's just next to the Minster. I love browsing this shop, but you can safely say that no room in my house will ever look like it!

This post was for City Daily Photo Blogs' Theme Day Nov 1st 2008 : Books.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants